BSNL 4G: Telco to Stick To ‘Trusted Products’ for Gear Ahead of Rollout

On Monday, BSNL said that it would adhere to the ‘trusted products’ as per DoT mandate in March. Furthermore, the telco waived off the condition to submit source code in Escrow account. Additionally, the telco mentioned that the the domestic core must be provided by an Indian-based company.

BSNL 4G on Indian Core

The state run-telco said that the amendments done in the UASL Agreement will apply on its 4G gear procurement. BSNL issued this statement in a clarification to stakeholders queries on detailed notice inviting e-tender.

Notably, BSNL issued a tender in January this year to listen to offers to develop and roll out BSNL 4G. Furthermore, BSNL removed a clause which requested the companies to deposit source code and RAN in an Escrow account.

The vendors had written to the telco to seek clarification on the companies to participate in the bidding process. On the same, the company said that the core needs to be “Indian core provided by an Indian company”. Additionally, for the third-party equipment, the telco said that these are “not necessarily included in the Indian core”. The said third-party equipment includes firewall as well as routers and switches.

Conditions for the Bidders in BSNL 4G Development

On the aforementioned Indian company, BSNL said that the “Indian company should be incorporated, registered and headquartered in India”. To remove any discrepancy, it added that the company “should not be a subsidiary of another company headquartered out of India and it should have global headquarters in India”.

Furthermore, the telco imposed one more filter. This filter is about the amount of allowed equity stake in an operator a bidder can have. It said that the bidder “shall not have equity stake more than 10% or operating partnership in mobile segment with any other operators”. However, it excluded MTNL from that filter.

BSNL also imposed a condition on the source code for core software. The telco stated that the Indian company shall own the said core. The telco said that this company has to own or at least have unimpeded, irrevocable access to the source code. This includes modifying the said code and provide software support for all updates. BSNL requested a self-declaration certificate from the company’s key executive.

When Will BSNL 4G Roll Out?

BSNL will soon bring out a parallel notice which will seek bids from multinational vendors. This move will expedite BSNL 4G rollout a fair bit. These multinationals include Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung.

Furthermore, an Indian company, which can successfully demonstrate 4G network via a proof-of-concept can also partake in the bidding process.

Needless to say, BSNL is in a hurry to launch its 4G before everyone else moves on to 5G. This leads us to believe that by the end of 2021, at the latest, BSNL 4G will be out in the market.

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